Look. Listen. We feel your inconvenience when you travel with food allergies or follow a unique diet.
Whether you eat the way you do for medical, religious, ethical reasons… or merely have particular preferences (I can’t stand watermelon🍉) – we firmly believe everyone has the right to enjoy their food on Safari.
It is true that it can be a little tricky at times – my sweet grandma would prepare my vegan veggies with a generous helping of lamb gravy 😝 – but a little prior preparation and planning will make all the difference.
And traveling safely no matter what your preference is not only doable but can significantly enhance your life. The secret is to expand your comfort zone while reducing stress.
Here are our tricks and tips for eating what you want and the way you want on Safari.
Err on the side of safety
As is the case with general food safety (which can be an issue in more remote areas) your specific requests will be safest in the hands of an experienced Travel Designer. If you love living dangerously only slightly more than you adore repeating the same request a bazillion times feel free to ignore this tip.
W.R.I.T.E. it to keep it R.I.G.H.T.
It can be beneficial to have your request written down and printed out (think business cards). When you are planning to travel where English isn’t widely spoken, have some of them translated into the local language.
Companies that offer allergy cards include:
In the air
Many airlines don’t serve peanuts on board any longer (check the airline website for snack policy) but you can never guarantee another passenger will not have peanuts. Do let your flight attendant know – she/he may make an announcement on your behalf. Some travelers with peanut allergies bring snacks with them to share with fellow passengers and help spread the word.
Do bring wipes to rub down your immediate environment and try to fly in the morning when the aircraft is generally the cleanest.
Remember to check your medical insurance for coverage of an allergic reaction in the case of a pre-existing allergy.
If you have a strong reaction to particular foods, you may want your doctor to write a covering letter with treatment advice that you can carry with you.
Carry antihistamines or epinephrine in your hand luggage and pack enough to last your entire trip.
It may be illegal to kill, sell or eat certain animals, but it isn’t impossible to find meat from elephant, gorilla, chimpanzee and other primates or porcupine, etc. on the menu in Africa. When you choose a responsible Safari operator, you will not have to worry about animal-derived delicacies in local cuisines that are derived from endangered or protected species.
If you bring your own snacks, ensure any liquids fall within the liquid carry-on requirement. Cooling packs are filled with chemical liquids and may be confiscated at security.
When you request a special meal on an airline, remember that you need to advise them between 24 and 96 hours before travel. Reconfirm your request a day before your departure.
A strict kosher diet can be accommodated at a select number of properties throughout Africa. Your Travel Designer will be able to plan your Safari to ensure you stay within dietary laws.
Here is our guide to getting your protein from the same place that other people’s protein get their protein from on Safari. (Understanding that sentence is not a prerequisite for going on Safari or being a vegan. 🍎 )